Chapter-9-Information-Systems-Ethics-and-Computer-Crime -...

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Fatema Hasan Chapter 9: Information Systems Ethics and Computer Crime 9.1 Information Systems Ethics: There are three stages of global culture through the ages according to futurist Alvin Toffler: o 1 st Wave: This stage involved basic agriculture and handiwork o 2 nd Wave: Industrial Revolution – many felt threatened by the drastic changes brought about in this period. These individuals were called Luddites and were known to protest against and even destroy new technologies. o 3 rd Wave: Information Age The Information Age initiated a drastic change from the time when knowledge was communicated and shared verbally. The printing press allowed information across the globe to be saved, absorbed, debated and written about in publications, thus adding to the exploding data pool. o Computer literacy is imperative in today’s society. Computers act as a tool to gather, store, organise and otherwise process information. There are few applications where computers aren’t in use, as they are adept in processing large amounts of data. With this increasing use of computers in all aspects of corporate, government and domestic life, it isn’t enough to just be computer literate, you must also have computer fluency. This means you have the ability to independently learn new technologies as they emerge. o The digital divide refers to the gap between people in societies who have access to and are computer literate and those who don’t. This is a major ethical concern when you consider the link between computer literacy and the ability to compete in the Information Age. There is a new class structure that divides those with information and those who are forced to function out of ignorance. “This new class is not from money or land, but from knowledge”. This digital divide is however shrinking in the 21 st Century in most developed countries, yet in many 3 rd World Countries; the issue remains prevalent due to the lack of infrastructure and financial resources. o Neo-Luddites also oppose Information Systems, as they fear potential problems including social decay, increased consumerism, and loss of privacy. Computer Ethics are used to describe the issues and standards of conduct as they pertain to the use of Information Systems. These issues are at the forefront of most ethical debates related to how Information Systems store and process information. Information Privacy: if information is not kept safely it can potentially lead to a number of issues. One of the primary problems is Identity theft. While identity theft is recognised as a criminal activity, other issues can’t always be explicitly described as criminal and instead simply described as unethical. As technology grows at an exponential rate, the capabilities of humans grow, and individuals are often able to utilise the technologies to harm other entities.
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Fatema Hasan However, it is impossible for laws to adapt at a corresponding rate in order to ensure that actions considered socially unacceptable are legally unacceptable.
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